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Varland to make MLB debut on Wednesday

The youngster will begin his major-league journey at Yankee Stadium.

Texas Rangers v Minnesota Twins
There’s literally no pictures of Louis Varland in our files. Sorry.
Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

The Minnesota Twins are digging deep into the depths of their starting pitching rotation once again. With Tyler Mahle hitting the injured list once again, the club needed a starter this week against the New York Yankees in New York and they’ve reportedly decided on their guy.

Right-hander Louis Varland will be making his major-league debut tomorrow at Yankee Stadium, according to Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Aaron Gleeman of The Athletic also picked up on the rumor and confirmed it this morning. Gleeman notes that this will be the first time in Twins history that a starting pitcher will make his debut at Yankee Stadium. What could go wrong, right?

The St Paul native started off his 2021 campaign with Class A Fort Myers, posting a 2.09 ERA/2.66 RA9 in eight starts and 47.1 innings of work. A very impressive 14.5 K/9 and K/BB ratio of 4.75 got him a promotion to High-A Cedar Rapids in the middle of July where he continued on with similar-ish numbers: 2.10 ERA/2.26 RA9, 10.7 K/9, 4.71 K/BB ratio, 0.988 WHIP. He was then awarded another promotion to Class AA Wichita to start this season. The trend continued with a slightly higher 3.34 ERA/3.94 RA9 in 19 starts and 105 innings logged with a 10.2 K/9 and a 3.05 K/BB, which led to him moving up to Class AAA St Paul almost a month ago. In four starts there (21.1 innings), he’s posted a 11.4 K/9 - 27 strikeouts against only three walks - and a WHIP of 0.844. The Twins are certainly hoping that this trend continues for the 24-year-old during his cup of coffee in the majors.

According to his review on the MLB Prospect Rankings for the organization, where he’s ranked tenth, Varland can touch 98 MPH with this fastball. He’ll offer a changeup as his secondary pitch and can also throw a slider in the mid-80s. He already has a trophy to his name, earning the Twins’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors for 2021.

Sonny Gray was moved to start on Thursday against the Evil Empire to allow him an extra day after leaving his last start with a sore hamstring, opening up the starting spot for tomorrow’s contest. The Twins will need to make a 40-man roster move in addition to clearing a player off of the active roster. Minnesota could roll the dice again on designating Aaron Sanchez for assignment and hope he could clear waivers, which could be the most likely move.